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NAR, attorneys: OK to give buyers sex offender info

NEW YORK – Nov. 16, 2015 – Buyer’s agents in all states except New Jersey and Delaware can legally share information on sex offenders with buyers based on National Association of Realtors® research, a review of fair housing laws and interviews with real estate attorneys.
According to NAR and real estate lawyers, buyer’s agents should disclose sexual offender information, directing buyers to the information source and sharing actual knowledge of offenders living near listings of interest.
Agents should also provide any relevant information found on a state sex offender registry, citing the registry as the source of the information.
However, NAR and attorneys stress that buyer’s agents are not legally obligated to gather such information for buyers. Their responsibility ends after they disclose what they already happen to know.
Fair housing laws do not protect sex offenders, so buyer’s agents are not prohibited from sharing information about them. However, agents could test fair housing laws if they selectively disclose the locations of sex offenders in certain neighborhoods – only to buyers with children, for instance.
“If you repeat correctly what’s on the public record and attribute it to the public record and what you say about the public record is true, then you’re not liable for defamation, slander or anything else,” says Chicago attorney and former NAR deputy general counsel Robert Butters.
Source: Inman News (11/09/15) Wiggin, Teke
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Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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